BECOME AN ADVERTISER

Advertise with us

Nationals Title Success For Mairead Fox

Thursday 19.04.2018
Team Talk Mag
Club


Mairead Fox has packed a lot of success into her sporting career so far but the 15 year old Loughmacrory prodigy has just secured one of the most sought after prizes in Irish handball this year with an outstanding triumph in the Irish junior nationals in Kingscourt last weekend.
Mairead’s latest achievement was a landmark one and not only because she brought her tally of national titles into double figures at such a young age, it crucially earned her a priceless golden ticket to the 2018 world championships in Minnesota in August.
All the elite juvenile handball talent throughout Ireland converged on counties Monaghan and Cavan at the weekend and apart from the prestigious national titles that were on offer, there was the small matter of six places on Team Ireland up for grabs. Every young handballer who had qualified for the last sixteen in the top boys and girls grades desperately wanted one of those elusive spots on Team Ireland.
The prize at stake was huge and the handball was of a very high standard for two days but there was also a lot of pressure felt by the sport’s top young stars in the closing stages. Mairead Fox took it all in her stride.
“I had to play four matches over two days to win the nationals,” reflected Tyrone’s newest member of Team Ireland, “and that can be physically and mentally tough for any player, especially with so much at stake.
“All you can do is prepare to the best of your ability, both mentally and in terms of handball and I had left no stone unturned in my preparation for this challenge,” insisted Mairead.
“I honestly can’t describe the truly amazing feeling I had at the exact moment I clinched my place on Team Ireland,” she beamed, “and words will never be able to describe it.
“When I was going in to serve for my last point, I took my time to think about it and decide what I was going to do in the next rally to win something that I had dreamt about for a very long time,” revealed Mairead.
“I was set up at the right side and for a split second I actually thought to myself ‘how much do I really want this’ and I killed the ball in the right corner as hard as I could hit it. This was a moment I had longed for since I started playing handball.
“It was a bit of a surreal experience meeting Clodagh (Munroe) in the final and she is undoubtedly a great player with a bright future and we get on really well but I had to just forget about all of that for a while and concentrate on the job in hand.
“This achievement is ahead of anything I have ever won,” she continued, “but it’s followed closely by winning both the under-14 All Ireland championship two years ago and the under-16 All Ireland title this year.
“But this was the one I had wanted from a very young age, so I was prepared to do all I could to make this dream come true, and I made the sacrifices when I had to. It was what I wanted so much, and I put in a massive effort to make it happen.
“I can’t wait for the worlds in August,” she smiled, “and officially representing my country makes it even sweeter, as it’s something that everyone in the handball community would love to be a part of. I definitely  feel privileged about the amazing experience I have to look forward to in August.
“It would have been good to have a second Tyrone player on the team with me and Sean (Kerr) came really close so it was disappointing that he didn’t make it too.
“My handball is going really well in 2018, where I am currently unbeaten. I had a rock bottom year last year, where I suffered many defeats and had to try and keep bouncing back, and to many it looked like I was finished winning titles. But I took everything on board and just worked harder to ensure that a day like Sunday would come. I am very happy with my achievements to date this year and I couldn’t ask for any more, so anything after this would definitely be a bonus. But I will continue to do the best I can in training and in my preparation for every competition that I’ll be playing in.
“The world championships will obviously be my main focus now and I’m so excited about the prospect,” she concluded.
For Mairead Fox, this latest win is the culmination of so many hours of training after making it one of her biggest goals when she was just ten years old at the 2012 world championships in Dublin.
In the end the six players who were celebrating wildly on Sunday evening hailed from Tyrone, Monaghan, Armagh, Galway, Kilkenny and Wexford. These six players will have the opportunity to savour something really special in the months ahead as they get ready for the trip of a lifetime and the honour of officially wearing the Ireland jersey in Minnesota.
And nobody will enjoy the whole experience more than the young history making Loughmacrory girl.
advert
advert

BECOME AN ADVERTISER

Advertise with us